Saturday, July 8, 2023

July 8, 2023

Esau sold Jacob his birthright for food. He was hungry, and Jacob gave him something to eat and placed no value on the birthright. When Isaac was near death, Jacob, with the help of his mother, disguised himself as Esau and stole Esau’s blessing and inheritance. I can see some similarities in this to us as Christians. We are like Jacob, coming to salvation as liars and thieves with no rights to the blessings of the Jews. However, they sold their birthright to us because they did not value it.

On the other hand, we as Christians see the value in the blessing of salvation through the Messiah, who was meant to save the Jews, but they rejected him, so he gave it to us. We stole their Messiah! Jacob, who sought the blessing by any means possible, placed more value on it than Esau. Those who have rejected Jesus will fill the tent of Isaac with their cries like Esau when they find out the consequences of their roofless decision. Esau then set out to try and kill Jacob; those who see how blessed we are will try any means possible to destroy us. However, Esau was unsuccessful in his pursuit to kill Jacob, nor will our enemies succeed because we have everlasting life. God help the dead so that they might return to life and accept Jesus before it’s too late.

And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. Genesis 27:34-35

Friday, July 7, 2023

July 7, 2023

I’m spending a few days with my mother while my dad goes hunting with my brother and nephew. It is peaceful here, with no road noise or other chaotic sounds screaming in the background. The scenery is breathtaking; all I can see are a few fence posts and the edge of the Peace River swamp. We get so busy doing what we do that we forget to take a moment and enjoy what God has given us. 

Isaac had to move to Gerar because of a famine in the land. Isaac ventured back to the land where Abraham, his dad, had once occupied, where he had dug wells for water. Unfortunately, Isaac had to dig them again because the Philistines had filled them in with soil. Isaac couldn’t just linger wherever he wanted because he had a lot of people and flocks; he had to get permission from King Abimelech. Eventually, the king made them leave because he feared how big they had gotten. The promise remained, yet God had not given them access to it yet. Whether you realize it or not, we’re promised this land. Eventually, Jesus will sit on the throne of judgment, and every evil being and person will pay the price for what they have done to God’s people, and he will restore the land to its former beauty, and then we will inherit it. Until then, we must reach the point in our lives that no matter what situation we find ourselves in, we can say, it is well with my soul. Only Jesus can give you that kind of peace.

And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; Genesis 26:2-3

Thursday, July 6, 2023

July 6, 2023

The traditions from biblical times are much different than what is acceptable today, so the age of marriage might make you look upon the patriarchs differently. I believe Rebecca was very young when her family gave her away, and Isaac took her to be his wife; she had a nurse. However, she was old enough to understand, connect words and fill a trough for the camels. Her age at marriage could be why it was nearly 20 years later that they had Esau and Jacob. The Bible says she was barren, and Isaac prayed for God to bless them with children. It was God who made them wait to continue the promise. He was going to answer his prayer anyway but may have been waiting for him to ask. What are you waiting for? God may have plans to answer your prayers but is probably waiting for you to ask. Stop now and talk to God about what’s on your mind; he’s waiting to hear from you.

And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. Genesis 25:20-21

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

July 5, 2023

I love a good love story, but the story of Rebecca and Isaac is a bit different and a good comparison to our own love story with Jesus and possibly a bit of an example of what we should look for in a mate. Abraham sent his servant to get Isaac a wife, with very clear instructions that she should come from his family and not a Canaanite daughter in the land in which they lived. Some signs would let him know if she was the right one, and he listened. It took a lot of trust on both Rebecca’s and Isaac’s part. First and foremost, Abraham didn’t want him to go to the Canaanites because of their wicked ways; he wanted a wife for his son that was raised to love God, someone with whom he would be equally yoked with the same belief. I’m sure he wanted to avoid the struggle that can happen when you choose a mate that doesn’t love Jesus like you do. There was trust and faith involved in this. It’s similar to our never seeing Jesus, but because of what we’ve heard through the Bible and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we trust him with our life. It’s a great story and just the beginning of a well-laid plan in the lineage of Jesus. Read it if you get a chance. 

And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death. Genesis 24, 66-67

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

July 4, 2023

With the weight of taxes and unjust laws, it hardly feels like we are independent and free. However, our freedom comes not from government but from God. If you are bound by the chains of your past, refusing to release them to God, you are not free whether you celebrate Independence Day or not. Accepting Jesus and his free gift doesn't set you free unless you hand all your encumbrances to him. If you are still mourning a loss, whether it be a failed relationship, a death of a loved one, someone intruding on your innocence, or some other trauma, it's time to bury it in the tomb of Jesus. He will deliver it to where it belongs and raise you to new life, but you are the one who must give it to him forever. Bury your burdens and water them with your tears, then pick yourself up and move on. He has paved the way for your true freedom, but it's up to you to walk in it. I'm not saying that you shouldn't remember, but that you shouldn't linger too long in the place of pain. He may be waiting to see what you do with it. Make him proud by defeating the enemy's hold. Bury those seeds and watch what grows in its stead. When you learn to turn it all over to him, you will have true freedom and independence. Abraham mourned for Sarah, but then he stood up. It's time to stand up.

And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying, I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight. Genesis 23:2-4

Monday, July 3, 2023

July 3, 2023

There are trials we must go through that will test our faith in God. Sometimes your testing comes from God, and other times it comes from Satan, but whatever the case may be, the outcome is the same. Will you pass that test, or will you go down in flames? Abraham knew who was tempting him because he heard his voice telling him to sacrifice Isaac; when God speaks to you and tells you to do something, you best do what he says. I found it interesting that Abraham had to think about what God said for the entire three-day journey and then go through all the steps, and at the very last second, God stopped him from killing Isaac and provided the ram for the sacrifice. That is some strong faith. Our faith builds as we see the hand of God working in our lives just as Abraham’s did. When you are tempted to go another direction, go back in your mind and remember how God brought you through some trials. Write it down, and keep a log if you must, so you never forget what God has done for you. Pray the Lord’s Prayer daily, especially the part that says, “Lead us not into temptations.” And remember, God will provide the escape you need from any temptation that comes your way. 

And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. Genesis 22:12

Sunday, July 2, 2023

July 2, 2023

It has been awhile since I spent a day at the beach, but God knew how much I missed it and provided the opportunity for us to enjoy good company and a beautiful view. I was overwhelmed to tears at how close I felt to our Creator as I soaked up the sun and breathed in the the salty air of the Gulf. As I was walking back up to the beach house, the sand had become scorching hot from the sun and I had to pick up my pace to get back to my shoes. When I got inside, God blessed me with the kindness of our friend who offered me a water to help me cool off. Imagine what it would have been like to not have easy access to refreshing water after a hot day. 

Isaac was born, and after he was weaned, Abraham threw a big party to celebrate. Hagar began to mock Sarah, probably because of her jealousy. It upset Sarah and asked Abraham to send her away. It grieved him, but God told him to comply. He gave Hagar water and bread and sent her away. She and Ishmael ran out of water before getting to their destination and thought they were going to die. Hagar left Ishmael alone because she couldn’t watch him struggle. Then she heard a voice of an angel who comforted her and open her eyes to see the well of water. They both lived and Ishmael became a great nation. 

When you are about to give up and feel you can’t go on, God has refreshments waiting. Look for his hand in your relief; he was there all along guiding you to your destination, even when the path became narrow. Don’t take your eyes off of him, even for a moment.

And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. Genesis 21:19